Helping budding ECD practitioners get their online qualifications, Coltands’ innovative e-training solution holds the key to new opportunities for quality early education.
To create a more equal and prosperous South African society, more vulnerable children need access to quality play-based early learning opportunities. Yet millions of children aren’t given the opportunity to reach their potential —as most ECD practitioners are unqualified or under-qualified. But there is hope, in the form of an innovative e-learning training solution CotlandsIgnite™.
With the help of R408 000 from MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, 10 more ECD practitioners will be able to qualify through certified online training with access to a mentor.
Helping reach goals
An estimated 350 000 ECD practitioners are needed to provide access to the 1 000 000 children not yet accessing ECD services in South Africa. CotlandsIgnite™ provides an innovative way to address service delivery and current training challenges of access. By offering online training, partially/untrained and new entrants now have an affordable option to obtain an ECD qualification to enter the ECD workforce.
Online learning can also be easily scaled (unlike face-to-face training) and learners can access the course material and mentor as and when required — while benefiting from peer support through a community of learning. It also enables learners to work at their own pace, while learning valuable skills like how to navigate the internet, send emails, upload documents and connect to online sessions.
Building on what works
Cotlands developed a free online PLAY platform with the support of the Lego Foundation, UNICEF, and the Department of Basic Education. Of the four unaccredited skills courses offered on the platform, a staggering 159 119 users registered for the birth to five years course. A total of 93 375 of those registered completed the training.
This was followed by thousands of requests from ECD practitioners wanting to do an online qualification. These requests, together with Cotlands’ appetite for innovation resulted in the conceptualisation of CotlandsIgnite™
And along with its e-learning platform, Cotlands continues to provide toy libraries and playgroups serving marginalised children, along with nutritional, health and parental support for children attending Cotlands play-based early learning playgroups.